How to Select a Nursing School in Thomasboro Illinois
Choosing the right nursing program near Thomasboro IL may feel like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Thomasboro IL medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Thomasboro IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Thomasboro IL. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Thomasboro IL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Thomasboro IL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Thomasboro IL area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Illinois. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Thomasboro IL home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Thomasboro IL and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Thomasboro IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Thomasboro IL area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Thomasboro IL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Thomasboro IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Thomasboro IL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Thomasboro IL
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Thomasboro IL.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must ready several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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